Has the Australian PM taken the wrong medicine?

By Zhao Jinglun
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, July 14, 2014
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Australian PM Tony Abbott shocked the world when he said: "We admired the skill and the sense of honor that they brought to their task." He was praising the Japanese soldiers of World War II who showed their "skill" in killing 17,000 Aussies and brutally abused Aussie prisoners.

He said this in an address to parliament also attended by Japanese PM Shinzo Abe. He declared that "the fiercest of opponents could be the best of friends" and he called Japan a "first-class international citizen." In short, he is enthusiastically jumping onto Japan's war chariot.

Has Abbott taken the wrong medicine? That is the Chinese way of saying "is he out of his mind?"

Shinzo Abe was in Canberra to sell his resolution to reinterpret Japan's Pacifist Constitution to lift the ban on Japan's right to collective self-defense. He also wanted to cement military ties between the two countries and conclude a deal to transfer Japanese submarine technology to Australia as Canberra plans to replace its fleet of stealth submarines at an estimated cost of US$37 billion.

The Australian PM was more than willing to comply with Abe's wish, declaring he was not worried about the "special" relationship with Japan which might damage Canberra's relations with Beijing, its biggest trading partner.

But Tony Abbott is not alone in his foolhardy move. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, in his talk with his Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera, reiterated Washington's strong support of Japan's lifting the ban on its right to collective self-defense. He also said that the new guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation should be in place by the end of this year.

Itsunori Onodera was in the United States to seal a deal to buy 42 F-35 stealth fighters. Japan is well on its way to remilitarization. He said fawningly that Japan's SDF will come to the aid of the U.S. if necessary.

Almost at the same time, Shinzo Abe was in Papua New Guinea as he traveled to the town of Wewak to honor the 200,000 Japanese soldiers who died during the New Guinea campaign in World War II. PNG was where Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, mastermind of the Pearl Harbor attack, was shot down and killed by U.S. P-38 Lightning fighters.

What about the American casualties inflicted by the Japanese? Have the Americans forgotten the more than 2,000 U.S. sailors and others killed in Japan's perfidious sneak attack on Pearl Harbor? And those who perished during the Bataan Death March?

China certainly has not forgotten Japanese atrocities perpetrated during the war. Its archivists have published, many for the first time, confessions from 45 Japanese generals of their heinous crimes.

In the first handwritten confession, dated 1954, Lieutenant General Keiku Suzuki, the commander of Japan's 117th division, admitted ordering Colonel Taisuke to "burn down the houses of 800 families, and slaughter 1,000 Chinese peasants in a mop-up operation in the Tangshan area.

Among other crimes with a total in the thousands, he also confessed that he "cruelly killed 235 Chinese peasants seeking refuge in a village near Lujiayu, cutting open the bellies of pregnant women.

He also ordered the Epidemic Prevention and Water Supply Squad to spread cholera virus in three villages.

He also ordered setting up comfort stations and forced 60 Chinese and Korean women to serve as "comfort women."

That is only one of 45 confessions. In all the Japanese invaders killed 35 million Chinese. They owe us a huge blood debt.

China and the world's peace-loving people will never allow such tragedies to happen again.

The author is a columnist with China.org.cn. For more information please visit: http://www.china.org.cn/opinion/zhaojinglun.htm

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of China.org.cn.

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